Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sew Cozy

I made this cute little sewing machine cover on Monday morning. It is amazing that I got it done with the two kids swirling around me. Andrew wanted me to pick him "UP!", and Valerie in between inquiring about the buttons on the machine said, "Mama, I love it when you sew." Which was nice, because I love it, too. But it totally cracks me up that the project I chose to do was a cozy to cover the machine for when I'm not using it! Which is the vast, vast majority of the time.

I do so love to sew. I've been sewing since I was five or six. The way I remember it, I was five. But probably I was at least six. My mom taught me how to sew first on an old fashioned treadle sewing machine (very similar to the one in this image). That way I wouldn't get it going too fast and sew through my finger. I can still hear my mom saying, "Don't sew your finger!" I had that treadle machine in my bedroom from childhood into my teenage years (and now I have it in my guest room). I sewed all kinds of things on it from Barbie clothes to sock dolls, pillow covers to pants. I even, in the 80's of course, sewed a bunch of old zippers onto one of my dad's old t-shirts. It was cool.

My mom also taught me to use her big heavy electric Kenmore sewing machine. "DON'T SEW YOUR FINGER!" That was big time for me, getting to sew on mom's machine. I made my first quilt on her machine, the summer after I graduated from high school. I used that quilt on my bed in my college dorm room the next fall. My mom still has her wonderful beast of a machine, complete with the orange and green labels my little sister asked me to make with the label maker (a lot like the one here) that say things like "LOVE MY MOMMY". I vividly remember making those labels, like it was yesterday, though it has been close to thirty years ago now.

For my birthday the same summer I got married, my mom gave me my very own used Kenmore in it's own sewing table! It was so exciting. I used that machine for over 13 years before I had to retire it. I made Valerie's and Andrew's first Halloween costumes on it, a black kitten and brown bear cub, respectively. And countless other projects.

Last Christmas, Tom got me a brand-spanking-new Kenmore, and I felt like a queen! But I didn't get to use it until it was time to make Valerie's birthday dress, a yearly tradition, last Spring. And then, not again until Monday when I made the cozy. I was so happy to show Tom what I had done (instead of washing the dishes) when he got home from work. And he said, "See, you're getting back to it!"

I used to get so frustrated, as a new mother, when I couldn't do the leisurely things I enjoyed like sew or paint, nap or shower. But I finally learned to let them go, except the showering. It is all a part of "surrendering to motherhood", putting all those (thousands of) projects away in their own little mental cozies, for later. That is just how it is when you practice devotional parenting. But that is another story.


  1. I love that you still sew, I have fond memories of being at the beach house and you sitting at that black sewing machine still in your bathing suit, hair all wet, making doll clothes.
    I've never had the patience for it. I've tried to learn several times, but it's like doing Math - I always end up crying. So....I'll watch the kids, and you and my mom can go to the fabric store! ;)

  2. lol! Wow very cool that you sew. As soon as you have free time maybe you can sew me some clothes. pleassssssssse. haha.

  3. Sarah, your writing is inspirational! I love the way you tied that whole story together with the symbolic "mental cozies." Awesome!